I don’t remember the exact date God asked me to do this, but He did. I used to think I must be arrogant to believe God asked me to write about a single verse every day. I used to obey every day but I’ve fallen off now and again only to get back to it, recalling this morning what He clearly commands in His Word:
Go on, then, encouraging one another and building up one another’s faith.
How rich are Paul’s words — “as you are already doing.” What a wonderful testimony to the unity of the church at Thessalonica, to their support of one another, to their love for each other. Paul, with Silas and Timothy, writes:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”
How does Paul suggest the Thessalonians support each other? By reminding them that “God did not appoint [them] to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for [them] so that, whether [they] are awake or asleep, [they] may live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, NIV)
What a staggering thought — they are appointed, as are we, to salvation not to wrath. What is more encouraging? Therefore, Paul is able to write:
“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)
God gives endurance. He builds hope through endurance. He gives encouragement and instruction through His Word. God allows us to live in unity and harmony with one another “with a united mind and voice” glorifying Him.
God fills us with joy and peace. He makes our hope overflow.
God gives us grace. He shows us His mercy.
God accepts us.
“Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14: 13)
“Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepts you, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15: 7)
“But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14: 10 – 12)
Rather than criticize, you ought to live in harmony. If you have a conviction, says Paul, you should “keep it to yourself before God.” (Romans 14: 22) Paul encourages the pursuit of “what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” (Romans 14: 19)
Therefore, accept your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Do not criticize. Instead, join together with them to praise our God, who gives us endurance, encouragement, hope, peace, and joy.